5 Best Ways to Teach Children About Kitchen Safety

Kitchen safety comprises an essential element of kids’ domestic education. All too often, though, kitchen safety rules come in the form of a boring and long written list which kids aren’t guaranteed to read, let alone follow. Give the following five tips a go, though, and you’ll be able to transform your children into competent and safe kitchen-hands in a jiffy.

Activity time

Firstly, of course, it’s logical to establish what kitchen safety actually is. Here are 10 basic rules for kitchen safety for your teaching convenience:

  1. Always wash hands before, after, and during food prep;
  2. Wipe your surfaces before beginning to cook;
  3. Don’t use the same knives or cutting boards for raw versus cooked food;
  4. Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables;
  5. Get an adult’s help when cooking with heat;
  6. Tie up long hear prior to cooking;
  7. Pick up sharp knives by the handle, not the blade
  8. Clean up spills as soon as they happen;
  9. Don’t rush (especially when chopping or carrying hot things);
  10. Always keep electrical appliances away from water.

The tricky part is imprinting these rules in your kids’ minds. Here’s a hint: let them do the hard work! Organise a mini-DIY session in which your kids can fashion their own “[insert own name here] Kitchen Helper” – a colourful and personalised manual created by them, for them, available for reference whenever they’re in a kitchen setting. Since many children are visual learners to start with, getting them to translate the above rules into easy-to-recall symbols and icons is an excellent learning method.

Gather the proper resources

Kid-friendly appliances and resources can make kitchen safety a breeze. When it comes to running hot water, for example, you can opt to invest in kid-proof taps which safety-lock boiling water until your kids are mature enough to manage the two-finger access operation.

Additionally, a kids’ helper stool is an essential piece of kitchen furniture when teaching toddlers or elementary-age children to cook, allowing full visibility to the above-bench cooking action.

Stimulate the senses

Once you’ve discerned the actual rules, set out a practical lesson plan to consolidate them in your kids’ minds. It’s been proven that children learn best when their senses are stimulated, so consider planning a visit to a local chef’s kitchen or even doing a cooking demonstration yourself to this end. Get your kids to bring along their own kitchen guides, and see how many rules they can identify in the scene before them. Use the food produced during the demonstration as an incentive!

Follow a recipe

A fantastic method of food safety instruction is to subtly include morsels of kitchen education within a fun baking or cooking session. Kids may not be so keen to just listen and learn, but if they know they’ll be making chocolate chip cookies or hokey pokey at the same time, you’ll have no trouble ushering them into the kitchen.

Break learning down into manageable chunks

Teaching your kids slowly and purposefully will encourage information retention and facilitate the development of good kitchen habits – so start small (perhaps with a task as simple as unloading or loading the dishwasher), and then graduate to recipes which involve trickier steps.

Likewise, when you’re scheduling your practical lessons, why not relate each one to a specific and manageable area or appliance in the kitchen? For instance, if it’s microwave safety you want to focus on, find a recipe for a mug cake, and educate your kids about wattage, microwave-appropriate materials, and the science of cake-rising accordingly.

Image Sources:

Taps by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash.com under license

Hand Washing via Pexels.com under CC0 license

Sense via Pexels.com under CC0 license

Cookbook by Brooke Lark via Unsplash.com under license

This is a guest post written by Harper Reid.

Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand. She has a passion interior homemaking, home improvement and child safety. You can find more of her work on her Tumblr.

You can read more on child safety at home by reading this holiday safety post written by Professor Ike. The holiday season is upon us again – what better than than to publish and share this awesome piece.